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Fanning
09-16-2017, 02:51 PM
Hello everyone! I joined to learn everything that I can from all of you. I have just started my journey into falconry and I don't expect to trap my first bird for another year or more.

I have a small farm with my husband, two young children (6mo and 2yo) and 3 horses and was actively fox hunting until 3 years ago. Next year I will have more time available for several reasons.

I have always been been fascinated with birds and flight. I got my degree in aerospace engineering in 2005 and flew hang gliders and sailplanes until I could only afford one time intensive and expensive hobby and the horses won out.

For the past few years I have been enjoying the view of the red-tailed and Cooper's hawks that frequent my farm. I'm putting up a few kestrel nest boxes to see if I can encourage any more raptors to move in. Any tips for plantings or other types of attractive landscape features are welcomed. Thank you!

wingnut
09-16-2017, 03:15 PM
Welcome Lauren. If you want to attract raptors you can always set up a nice bird feeding station and maybe a add a loft of a few pigeons. I had both at my former home at a residential location and I had frequent visitors that included sharp shins, coopers, redtails, and even a merlin or two.

joekoz
09-16-2017, 03:51 PM
Lauren:

If you haven't already done so, you should seriously consider joining the Potomac Falconer Association which is you local/state falconry club, as well as the North American Falconry Association (NAFA). For the minimal cost for annual membership it will provide you with the opportunity to meet local falconers at the PFA field meets and picnics, and among the benefits that come with being a NAFA member are the 4 full color glossy magazines they publish each year that you are sure to find to be very informative with respect to falconry here in the United States.

Breeze
09-16-2017, 08:23 PM
(welc) to NAFEX, Lauren!

Fanning
09-17-2017, 01:53 PM
Welcome Lauren. If you want to attract raptors you can always set up a nice bird feeding station and maybe a add a loft of a few pigeons. I had both at my former home at a residential location and I had frequent visitors that included sharp shins, coopers, redtails, and even a merlin or two.

That's a good idea! I have several feeders close to the house but in a sheltered location. If I put out some millet below the choice perches in the field maybe there will be some action on the house sparrows. I get feral pigeons frequently as visitors from my neighbor's barn.


Lauren:

If you haven't already done so, you should seriously consider joining the Potomac Falconer Association which is you local/state falconry club, as well as the North American Falconry Association (NAFA). For the minimal cost for annual membership it will provide you with the opportunity to meet local falconers at the PFA field meets and picnics, and among the benefits that come with being a NAFA member are the 4 full color glossy magazines they publish each year that you are sure to find to be very informative with respect to falconry here in the United States.

Thanks for the info. I wasn't aware of the PFA, I'll check it out.


(welc) to NAFEX, Lauren!

Thank you, Deb!

ddcast1234
09-17-2017, 08:04 PM
Lauren:
Welcome, if you live in Hampstead I am just a few miles away. I live in Upperco off 91. If you like you are more than welcome to work in with me and my two young Harris Hawks. I am sure it is hectic with young kids but if you have time send me a PM and we can figure out details. I am always looking for some more rabbit fields to hunt so if your farm fills the bill, I can come to you!!! I would also second the recommendation on joining the PFA and the NAFA. I can get you the contact information for the PFA. NAFA is a website application, and I think it is free for a year for apprentices, even if you have to pay the pictures and articles in the magazines mag it well worth he price. ANy way welcome, drop me a PM if you like.

Dennis Casteel

piscivoris
09-18-2017, 12:48 PM
Welcome Lauren: I live in Middletown MD very close to the main Eastern migration route for RT's and other Hawks.
When you get ready to start trapping your own Bird I may be able to help you with a trap site.

I don't know where you are at with your application, facilities, or obtaining a sponsor, but there are some very knowledgeable Falconers around.
You should be able to find some help when needed.

Good luck to you.

Fanning
09-18-2017, 03:54 PM
Lauren:
Welcome, if you live in Hampstead I am just a few miles away. I live in Upperco off 91. If you like you are more than welcome to work in with me and my two young Harris Hawks. I am sure it is hectic with young kids but if you have time send me a PM and we can figure out details. I am always looking for some more rabbit fields to hunt so if your farm fills the bill, I can come to you!!! I would also second the recommendation on joining the PFA and the NAFA. I can get you the contact information for the PFA. NAFA is a website application, and I think it is free for a year for apprentices, even if you have to pay the pictures and articles in the magazines mag it well worth he price. ANy way welcome, drop me a PM if you like.

Dennis Casteel
Thank you for the kind offer! My resident foxes have decimated the rabbit population on my property, which is pretty small, 8 acres total. You're welcome it check it out. I'll PM you the address. I have two acres of woods full of squirrels but it is close to a very busy road and the rest is short pasture and lawn that doesn't support much wildlife. I think the red-tails like it more for the slope soaring, 100 foot tall sycamore perches and consistent themal activity.

I'll ask my neighbor if he'd allow you to hunt his property. He has some woodland with a creek running through it bordering a corn field. Lots of old grass tussocks and weeds. It looks like the kind of place that would be full of game. I may also be able to get permission on some other farms in Reisterstown and Upperco, we can discuss later.

If you fly anything that will take out woodchucks, I can get you all the hunting you'd ever want! Horse farms will be lining up!

Fanning
09-18-2017, 04:13 PM
Welcome Lauren: I live in Middletown MD very close to the main Eastern migration route for RT's and other Hawks.
When you get ready to start trapping your own Bird I may be able to help you with a trap site.

I don't know where you are at with your application, facilities, or obtaining a sponsor, but there are some very knowledgeable Falconers around.
You should be able to find some help when needed.

Good luck to you.
Thank you, Bill! I lived near Braddock Heights for a couple of years and boarded my horses in Middletown so I am familiar with the area. I was on the wrong side of the ridge (eastern, overlooking Frederick) to see any of the migration though.

Right now I'm in the research stage. I don't have the time to devote to a hawk of my own but I'd love to get out and watch others work or assist If I can.

qball
09-18-2017, 06:36 PM
Start leaving brush piles in or near the woods. Plant a garden and leave it unfenced. The brush piles will give the bunnies protection from the foxes. Build it and they will come.

ddcast1234
09-18-2017, 07:11 PM
Lauren.....big Hi to Bill! he got me set up in a great red-tail trapping spot last year, tell them I will be back! Bill is a major resource on all things falconry.
Sounds like your property is less than ideal but you are already think like a falconer about available game and hazards roads, powerlines, people, etc). One thing I have learned for sure is the whole deal is about anticipating and planning for risks. With my Harris Hawks I avoid squirrel as much as possible, they are a little smaller than red-tails and more fragile feet. Tree rats can put a heck of a bite on a toe and may put the bird out of commission for good. But, they are prime targets for red-tails. Groundhogs, well the best I can do for you is my son and I with a rifle. The only bird capable of that is a golden eagle, my sponsor used to have one and target them but not many folks flying them now.

I will check the PM and swing buy when convenient for both of us..will bring all my birds (if for nothing else but to show off)

Dennis

Fanning
09-18-2017, 09:25 PM
It's too populated to shoot here but I did manage to nail two woodchucks with my Subaru! Any interest in one in a live trap if I manage to get the one eating my acorn squash? I hear they can be a bit greasy but decent eating for hawks. He's too far from the driveway to hope that I might get a clear line on him.

I'll try to line up some properties for you. I haven't lived in this area long but I have a lot of contacts in the fox hunting realm and those folks tend to enjoy watching any type of hunting with animals. And they have an appreciation for land sharing since their sport also relies on it so heavily.

piscivoris
09-21-2017, 01:01 PM
Lauren; Dennis is has very kind words for me, at 74 tears of age I have a soft spot for effusive praise.
Dennis reported that I am a resource for all things Falconry, I must disagree.
My experiences are 97.5 percent Red tail, I have trapped, or rehabbed a few other species but have never tried to keep, or fly one.
That having been said, I do have a LOT of experience with RT's, and trapping here in MD.

Within those parameters If I may be of assistance please feel free to enquire.

Regards